Who Killed Helena Warner

Liam Cunningham in A Likeness in Stone (2000)

It's been 10 years since Helena Warner (Rebecca Palmer) went missing during a party on a farm held by some old college friends but the discovery of a body by divers exploring the land flooded to make a reservoir brings it all flooding back for former detective Bill Armstrong (Liam Cunningham) who was unable to solve the case. It's not that he didn't have his suspicions as he was convinced her boyfriend Stephen Gilmore (Jonathan Firth) did it but his friends Richard Kirschman (Andrew Lincoln) and Joan Poole (Ruth Jones) all seemed to be covering up and still seem to be as the investigation is re-opened.

Originally broadcast as a mini-series it is little surprise that "A Likeness in Stone" is a story of two halves. The first half focuses on two things, the ramifications of the discovery of the body in the reservoir, stuffed inside a wardrobe in one of the buildings which were flooded. We see how the news of this not only unsettles the old college friends as it causes issues within their relationships now but it leads to detective Bill Armstrong becoming involved in the case again and becoming obsessed with it all having retired. As such we also get flashbacks to the past to see what happened that weekend when the friends got together for a party. Then of course there is the second half which unsurprisingly elaborates on what we learn with secrets being revealed and the net closing in.

Andrew Lincoln in A Likeness in Stone (2000)

The trouble with "A Likeness in Stone" is that it ends up uneven as scenes involving Liam Cunningham are attention grabbing as he brings to his character an obsessive quality which makes him dangerous in his own right. Ruth Jones also brings an edge to her character especially in the present where she brings to the character a sense of fear and reclusive ness leading to some shocking scenes involving a friend who takes advantage of her. The trouble is that when the focus shifts to either Jonathan Firth or Andrew Lincoln it doesn't have the same punch and begins to drag a little.

It is a shame as the story is nicely put together in such a way that it slowly unravels the mystery until we begin to make guesses as to who is behind the murder only to doubt are selves as a new piece of evidence is unearthed. If only it could have been a bit more even then it wouldn't have felt like it was dragging during the first half.

What this all boils down to is that for fans of British crime dramas "A Likeness in Stone" is entertaining and engaging. But it is not with out its issues and the uneven acting unfortunately frequently causes it to drag and feel drawn out. As to who killed Helena Warner.... well you will have to watch to find out.

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